'This Week' Transcript: Karl Rove and David Plouffe

PLOUFFE: Well, first of all, we ought to focus on not the political stakes, but the stakes for the country, and we are not going to succeed as a country economically if we don't do the right kind of health care reform, and we're on the verge of passing something here that's going to help grow jobs, help save families and businesses money, going to end the donut hole that seniors have to pay for prescriptions.

But I think the politics of this, by the way, we pass this, we're in much better shape politically as a Democratic Party than we are today, because we're going to go out there and not just talk about what we're for, but what the Republicans are voting against.

They are siding with the insurance companies over people who are denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, siding with the insurance companies over saving seniors money.

So this isn't just about us being a pinata here in the election. Elections are about choices. They are voting against an enormous tax cut for health care for 40 million middle-class families and 4 million small businesses. That's what they're opposing here.


KARL: Just quickly, on the politics, if you lose this vote, do you lose the House?


PLOUFFE: Oh, listen, we're 30 weeks away. I think -- I've been very clear about this. We are going to much better positioned politically -- now, that's secondary to what's right for the country -- if we pass this.

By the way, we had 15 million new voters vote in the 2008 election, OK? These are people who are cynical that their vote really mattered. If we don't pass health care, I think that sends a very depressing message.

But it's going to be a very powerful message to them that their vote mattered and they ought to stay involved in politics, and it can make a big difference in this country.


KARL: Now, Karl, the president spoke about you when he went to talk to the Democrats yesterday. Here's what he had to say.


OBAMA: I notice that there's been a lot of friendly advice offered all across town.


Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Karl Rove. Now, it could be that they are suddenly having a change of heart and they are deeply concerned about their Democratic friends.


KARL: Now, Karl, do you seriously believe that Democrats are better off if this does not pass?


ROVE: Look, I think the country is better off if this thing doesn't pass. This thing is $2.4 trillion for the first 10 years of its operation. This thing has 10 years' worth of -- of tax increases, $569 billion in tax increases, including $210 billion in a new payroll tax and a new 3.8 percent surtax on investments that's going to make us less competitive, $500 billion-plus in Medicare cuts to pay for, in essence, four complete years of the operation of this program.

The subsidies don't begin until year four and are not fully operational until year 10. If you look at the first 10 years of the operation of this thing, it is $2.4 trillion, and this thing is paid for by Bernie Madoff-style accounting in which they double-count money and ignore enormous costs. They claim $138 billion of deficit reduction, but it's either between $480 billion in debt -- in deficits added to the -- to the red ink...

KARL: So...

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